Last month I visited Goatsbridge Trout Farm in Thomastown, Kilkenny as they hosted the "Focus on Fish" event as part of Savour Kilkenny Food Festival 2013. Goatsbridge Trout Farm was founded by Ger Kirwan's parents and is now run by Ger and his wife Mag. This couple's passion for what they do is like a tonic giving me a renewed sense of energy and passion for food (especially trout and caviar!) and local producers on my way back to Kildare. They have expanded the business with other products including smoked trout and are Ireland's first makers of caviar. They also provide farm tours and workshops where you'll get the opportunity to learn how to smoke your own trout http://goatsbridgetrout.ie/.
During this event Sally McKenna gave a very educational demo on seaweed talking about some of the recipes in her new book "Extreme Greens - Understanding Seaweed". Then, I gave a sushi demo showing the audience how to make a simple temaki (sushi hand roll) and uramaki (inside out roll) topped with Goatsbridge Trout Caviar which looked and tasted amazing.
Goatsbridge trout caviar works really well for this type of sushi roll and it's surprisingly easy to make as the Kirwan's have done all the hard work making the caviar! Gunkan maki translates as war-ship sushi roll because it looks like a war-ship. It's very easy to roll only taking a few minutes or less once everything is prepared. It also looks very impressive when you serve it on a plate or platter especially if you use the caviar as a filling.
Sushi rice (rice & sushi vinegar)
Nori sheets (roasted seaweed), cut into strips 1.5 inches
Goatsbridge trout caviar
Dill (to garnish)
Small bowl of clean water (use to wet hands)
Damp clean cloth (use to wipe hands)
On the side:
1. Click here to see how to prepare sushi rice.
2. Get your nori strips ready in advance and store in an airtight container so they don't lose their crispy texture.
3. Dip your hands into the bowl of clean water and dry off excess water using the damp cloth.
3. Place a thumb-size piece of sushi rice in your hand and shape into an oval shaped ball using your hand.
4. Place the rice ball on a chopping board and then wrap the nori strip around the rice (face the rough side of the nori on the inside). The rice should be only half the height of the seaweed to allow for fillings.
5. Use a cooked grain of rice to seal the seaweed end when wrapping it around the rice.
6. Now place the caviar on top of the rice so that it's sitting above the level of the seaweed.
7. Serve on a plate or platter along with soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger.
- Don't get too stressed over the size of the rice ball and the strips of nori. This type of sushi can come in all sizes. The most important thing is to try and enjoy the sushi making experience and with practice your sushi will start to look better and reach perfection!- The fillings for the gunkan maki are limitless.